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Small Businesses Moving Aggressively to Online Marketing

Digital marketing is continuing to grow compared to traditional forms of advertising among small and medium-sized companies (SMBs).

According to BIA/Kelsey, digital spending for US SMBs is expected to reach $16.6 billion annually by 2016.

That means 70 percent of SMB marketing budgets will be spent on digital. In 2010, SMBs spent 52 percent of their budgets on traditional marketing and advertising, but that number will shrink to 30 percent in 2015.

Digital marketing includes mobile, social, online directories, online display, retargeting, search, and more.

Neal Polachek, president of BIA/Kelsey, said SMBs are using digital practices to engage their customers for longer periods of time.

“With the advent of daily deals to drive customer acquisition, SMBs are now increasingly focused on leveraging technological solutions to engage, grow and retain a higher percentage of their customers,” said Polachek. “As this trend accelerates, these SMBs will turn to outside providers to harness simple tools, which will enable them to maximize the long-term value of each new customer they acquire.”

Marketing Spend by SMBs

Some of the other Key takeaways from the report are as follows:

  • Overall, U.S. SMB spending on media, marketing and business solutions will grow from $22.4 billion in 2010 to $40.2 billion in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12 percent.
  • SMB spending on traditional advertising will be essentially flat during the forecast period, experiencing a 0.6 percent CAGR, from $11.8 billion in 2010 to $12.1 billion in 2015.
  • SMB spending on digital/online media will grow from $5.4 billion in 2010 to $16.6 billion in 2015 (24.9 percent CAGR).
  • SMBs will also increase spending on performance-based commerce and transaction platforms, from $1.7 billion in 2010 to $4.6 billion in 2015 (21.5 percent CAGR).
  • Spending by SMBs on customer retention business solutions will grow from $3.5 billion in 2010 to $6.9 billion in 2015 (14.6 percent CAGR).

As you can see, digital marketing and advertising are becoming increasingly important. There’s no excuse for why you shouldn’t have your own digital marketing campaign. Contact us today to learn more.

Infographic on the importance of SMS messaging

So we’ve already explained to you the importance of doing a Text Campaign for your business, but texting has a broader reach than use in mobile marketing. As the number one data service in the world, it is helping developing countries buy and sell things easier and safer.

Continue reading…

Some Stats about Texting

OMG! News flash! Texting is huge!

If I told you that you need to start an SMS campaign for your business, would you believe me? You might disagree. You might say “No, texting is just a fad,” or “No one uses texting to stay in contact with their customers.” Well, I hate to break it to you, but you’re mistaken. Texting today is more important than email.

Texting is the most used data service in the world. Yup, that’s right. It’s used more than email, telephone calls and mail. There are more texts sent per year than there are people in the world. Texting is a huge communication medium, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Not sure what an SMS campaign is? Check out our post on SMS Basics

Since 2009, voice minute usage on cell phones decreased 12 percent, but texting rose 40 percent. Texting is the way your customers interact with each other, so shouldn’t you interact with them in a way that they’re familiar with?

Phone use by gender

A this point you might be thinking “Sure, young people text, but they have no money. I want to market to customers over 35.” Well I have good news; the older generations are the fastest growing segments for sending and receiving text messages. In fact, adults ages 35-55 send and receive on average 1,143 messages per month.

Text Messaging is Increasing

Text campaigns are an easy way to send specials and deals to your customer base, helping you increase your presence and increase mindshare.

At AdsUpNow, we make SMS campaigns easy and rewarding. Contact us today and we’ll get started on a custom-made texting campaign that is sure to connect you with your customers and bring increased revenue to your business.

What is an SMS Campaign and Why Do I Want One?

What is an SMS Campaign?

I’m glad you asked. An SMS campaign is a form of marketing that allows you to interact with your customers via text. It’s similar to an email campaign, but is faster and easier to create since it requires no creative other than an initial campaign to get your customers’ numbers, and your 160 character message.

What happens is this:

  1. We set up your SMS shortcode and keyword. For example, if you owned a pizza place it might be PIZZA at 96000. This is basically your business’ texting phone number. That way, if your customer texts PIZZA to 96000, they’ll be included in your texting database, and be eligible for future promotions.
  2. We create a campaign to get your customers to sign up for text alerts. We might say “Text PIZZA to 96000 and receive exclusive discounts!” This way, you can use your existing advertising to market your SMS campaign, increasing the number of sign-ups.
  3. We send out updates. We’ll manage your entire customer base and send out the message for you. All you have to do is think of the promotion you want to do.

Why do I want one?

Someone probably told you 15 years ago that you need to be collecting email addresses of your customers so you can communicate with your client base. You might not have listened. Now, I’m here to tell you that getting your customer’s phone numbers is arguably more important than getting email addresses.

SMS campaigns have extremely high open and opt-in rates, and help you reach a broad customers base. Not everyone has a smartphone, but virtually everyone has a phone with texting capabilities.

SMS campaign opt-in numbers

Also, SMS Messages have a 95 percent open rate, compared to just 11 percent for email marketing messages. This means you can be sure your message doesn’t get lost or ignored.

Our phone is the most intimate form of technology we have. It’s always with us, allowing you to offer the right deal to the right person at the right time. SMS campaigns are an easy way to increase communication and develop a strategy to reach more customers than you ever have before.

Still not convinced? Check out our posts here and here for more stats about the importance and relevance of doing an SMS campaign.

Contact us today and we’ll give you a free consultation for an SMS campaign of your own.

The History of Advertising

Though advertising has been around for a while, it’s a lot older than most people think. In 2000 BC, the Ancient Egyptians advertised by carving public notices into steel. Now, four thousand years later, we’ve gotten to the point where online advertising has overtaken print and radio to become the second biggest medium for ad spend.

Along the way there have been a few forms of advertising that we wish weren’t invented– we’re looking at you, infomercials and pop-ups — but overall, ads have created a convenient way for businesses to get the word out about their products.

Continue reading…

Mobile Will Make Up 15% of Total Ad Spend In 2016

Think mobile isn’t important? Well, most of your competitors do. A new research report by Swedish analyst firm Berg Insight predicts that mobile ad spending will grow 37 percent annually over the next four years.

In 2010, mobile ad spend was just $3.4 billion worldwide, but Berg is estimating it to increase to $22.4 billion by 2016.

Berg Telecom Analyst Rickard Andersson said that our rapid smartphone adoption is a “game-changer,” and accredited the increase of mobile ad spend to major brands’ willingness to incorporate mobile into their campaigns.

“Brands are now progressively embracing the mobile channel, including the entire range of apps from games and entertainment to utility applications. Also, mobile web advertising and opt-in SMS campaigns are popular,” he said.

Everyone is Fighting Over Mobile

Andersson also predicted that location-based advertising will gain ground over the next few years, offering up marketing messages that are “hyper-relevant” to the user in both time and place.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however. Berg says the market hasn’t matured yet, and many big companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon are vying for mobile users’ attention.

With more people using smartphones – and with mobile ad spend increasing – don’t you think it’s time you evaluated your mobile strategy? The battle for market share among the tech giants shows how important mobile is becoming.

It’s not too late, as mobile is still young, but you need to think about all the customers you’re missing out on. Google reported that more than half of all local searches have local intent, meaning that your customers are using mobile to search for you.

Check out our what we do page to learn more about how we can help your business with local Internet advertising and marketing.

Photo Credit

7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Mobile Campaign

Smartphone adoption has been exploding in the last few years. This represents a huge opportunity for your business.  Mobile campaigns can give you a great return on your investment. Read below for the top seven reasons why you need to be using mobile as part of your local digital advertising strategy.

1.    It’s Getting Bigger
Smartphone ownership has more than doubled in the last two years. More than 44% of mobile subscribers now own smartphones, and mobile search has grown 400 percent in the last year, representing one in every seven searches. Google received 11.9 billion search queries in October 2011, meaning almost 1.7 billion searches were mobile in October alone.

2.    Search Drives Mobile
Instead of pulling out the Yellow Pages to find what they need, consumers use search engines. For smartphone users, search is even more important: they access search more than social networks on their phones.

3.    Mobile Means Local

Mobile Users Have Local Intent

More than half of all mobile searches have local intent. This means when someone pulls out a smartphone to search on the go, they’re looking for places nearby. You need to show up when they need you, or you stand to lose a lot of potential business.

4.    Mobile Users Take Action
Mobile searchers have higher purchase intent than desktop searchers do. After searching for something online, 89 percent of mobile searchers take action within a day – 36 percent of those take action immediately. This means that a mobile searcher is almost a guaranteed lead.

5.    Consumers Shop With Their Phones

Mobile users don’t just search – they buy. 74% of smartphone owners have made a purchase as a result of using their smartphone, and 76% of those purchases were made in-store.

6.    It’s Still Early

Mobile Will Overtake Desktop

In two years, the number of mobile Internet users will overtake the number of desktop users. Despite this, 72% of mobile large online advertisers don’t have a mobile-optimized site. Get started today, and be part of the mobile revolution.

7.    It’s easy!
With the help of AdsUpNow, you can capture new business and let mobile users find you. We create well-rounded campaigns that include mobile landing pages, mobile search advertising, call tracking and mobile couponing.

Wondering where we got these stats? They came from Google’s video about mobile advertising.

As you can see, mobile is growing – fast. Even though it may seem daunting, getting started with mobile advertising or mobile landing pages is easier than ever. Fill out the form on our website or call today to find out more.

Images were pulled from this infographic.

Search, Display and Retargeting: The Trifecta of Online Advertising

That title is misleading. To have a great online presence you need more than just search, display ads and retargeting, but these points are a good starting place for any local business who wants to convert more online shoppers and increase its revenue.

Each of these parts can be used on their own, but function stronger when used together. Just look at the title, we called it a trifecta, and everyone knows that a triangle is the strongest shape. If you didn’t, well you just got a geometry lesson as well as a digital advertising lesson. You’re welcome.

Lift in Online Sales Per Online Strategy

If you want to visualize how these three aspects work better together, take a look at the chart below. As you can see, using search and display ads together gives much higher returns than using them separately.

The first part of the equation is search. As we covered in a previous post, search is huge, and should not be taken for granted. Search has become the gateway to the Internet, so you need to start using search advertising to appear at the top of search rankings. It’s called SEM, and it looks like this:

Search Engine Marketing

Those big red circles are where your ads show up. That means that when someone searches for products or services that your business delivers, your ads appears, increasing hits to your website.

The only problem with search is that only 4% of time on the Internet is spent in search engines, and 96% is spent doing everything else. You might think search isn’t worth it, but everything on the Internet stems from search, so it should remain an important piece of your online strategy. Search gets your foot in the door, but the next two parts help you walk through it and sell your products.
Display Ads
The second aspect is display advertising. Display ads show up on websites around the world, and their main goal is to boost traffic to the owner’s website. The first display ad was in 1994, and looked like this:

AT&T Banner Ad From 1994

Since 1994, display advertising has grown tremendously. In Q2 2011, more than 1.1 trillion display ads were served across the world, and this number is only going to increase as more and more people come online. The only problem with display advertising is that, a lot of the time, it gets ignored. Internet users train themselves to overlook the ads, thinking they’re irrelevant. That’s where the third part comes in.

Retargeting is the last piece of the puzzle, and the part that ties it all together. If you weren’t aware, 97% of your website visitors leave and never come back.  Retargeting is display advertising that essentially follows up with the customer after they visit your website. It works like this: the consumer visits your website; they pick up a special line of code that places a cookie in their browser; your ads get delivered to the consumer as they are surfing the web, reminding them of your website.  ComScore created a handy cartoon to show how it works from the consumer’s end:

Retargeting Process

Retargeting is unique because it displays ads to consumers who have already shown interest in your products, making them easier to convert. It’s a win-win situation because the user gets ads that are relevant to their desires, and you get more sales in return.

Let us Help you!

As you can see, our trifecta of online advertising will help you see a greater return on your online ad spend. Check out our website and our past products and see how we can help you. Fill out a form on our site or call us to learn more.

The State of Search

Search has never been bigger: 26.6 billion searches were conducted in June 2011 alone, which marked a 6% increase from June 2010. This mirrors overall search growth from 2010-2011, which is also at 6%. Search has been growing like crazy the last few years, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Search is Increasing

You may already be aware that people use search. You probably use search the same way your customers do. I mean, when was the last time you picked up the Yellowpages? Yeah, we don’t remember, either.

We know that search is growing, but online search spending is growing more than search is. In 2011, search marketing is expected to grow 20%, and is expected to almost double from 2010 to 2015.

Online Ad Spend

What does this mean for you and your business? It means you need to start an online campaign, fast. There are huge dollars being spent on online advertising, but you don’t have to spend big, you just have to do something. If you have a campaign already, you need to evaluate your strategy to get the most from all your advertising dollars.

Now that you see how important search is, stay tuned for next week’s post about using search and display ads to drive more traffic to your website.

UPDATE: Here is our post about search, display ads and retargeting: the trifecta of online advertising.

Images sourced from comScore